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Guide to the Frieda Wunderlich papers, circa 1912-1960s

Collection Overview

Repository

New School Collections

Collection Identifier

NA.0002.01

Creator

Wunderlich, Frieda, 1884-1965

Title

Frieda Wunderlich papers, circa 1912-1960s

Extent

1.9 linear ft: 3 boxes

Language of Materials note

In English and German.

Summary

Frieda Wunderlich (b.1884-d.1965) was a member of the University-in-Exile (also known as the Graduate Faculty, later known as the New School for Social Research). A professor, political representative and editor of an anti-Nazi magazine in her native Germany, Wunderlich came to the New School in 1933 and continued her research on social problems, labor markets and resource allocation, while teaching into the 1950s. The collection consists of files and topically-themed notebooks, presumably labeled by Wunderlich, with identifications such as, Welf[are] State War, Coll[ective] Barg[aining]/Labor Law/NLRB [National Labor Relations Board], and Labor in Politics.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Frieda Wunderlich notebooks and miscellaneous files, NA.0002.01, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Biographical Note

Frieda Wunderlich was the only female member of the original group of German Jewish émigrés who formed the University-in-Exile (also known as the Graduate Faculty, and, later, as the New School for Social Research), in 1933. Born in Berlin on November 8th, 1884, she received her doctorate from the University of Freiburg in 1919 with a dissertation on the importance of the applied psychologist Hugo Munsterburg for the national economy. Her activities in Germany showed broad and humanitarian-oriented social and political interests: membership in the Prussian State Parliament and the Berlin City Council; service as a judge of the German Supreme Court for Social Welfare; and, most notably, editorship from 1923-1933 of the anti-Hitler weekly magazine, Soziale Praxis. Her scholarly writing often focused on white collar work, the displacement of laborers by technology, and the conditions for working women--especially the latter. Of the scholarly works, her most important in Germany was probably the theoretically-oriented  Productivität (Jena: G. Fischer, 1926). Immediately before coming to New York City, from 1930-1933, Wunderlich was a professor at the Vocational Pedagogic Institute in Berlin.

Once at the New School, Wunderlich's research concentrated on social problems, labor markets and, after 1939, on resource allocation methods used during wartime by totalitarian governments, especially Germany and the USSR. Her work on resource allocation is among her most important after emigrating to the United States. Much of it, as well as her work on other topics, including social and economic policy during the Weimar Republic, was published initially in the New School’s flagship journal, Social Research. From 1938-1940, Wunderlich served as dean of the Graduate Faculty. As a professor, she was active from 1933-1954, teaching courses on economics, labor, and sociology. In addition, she served as the official foreign student advisor to students in the Graduate Faculty. She died on December 19, 1965, in East Orange, New Jersey at the age of 76.

Her memorial in Social Research, written by a close teaching colleague, Julie Meyer, highlights Wunderlich's cool head, warm heart, and extremely meticulous research. Former New School president, Alvin Johnson, commended her for her “far-sighted social policy based on scholarly training in economics” (p.21). Wunderlich's research bears evidence of a multidisciplinary approach, demonstrating an engagement and range of experience in economics, sociology, social work, and politics. Finally, the memorial indicates that Wunderlich left an enduring legacy as one of the first social scientists to focus on the "role and status of women in industrial economies” (p.122).

____

“Dr. Wunderlich, Taught ‘in Exile’[:] New School Professor Who Left Germany in 1933 Dies.” New York Times, December 31, 1965, p.21.

Rutkoff, Peter and William B. Scott. New School: A History of the New School for Social Research. New York: The Free Press, 1986, p.122.

More...

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Scope and Content of Collection

The Frieda Wunderlich papers is comprised of New School administrative files, personal correspondence, and topically-themed notebooks, presumably labeled by Wunderlich, with identifications such as, Welf[are] State War, Coll[ective] Barg[aining]/Labor Law/NLRB [National Labor Relations Board], and Labor in Politics. These handwritten notes reflect the scope and breadth of her scholarship around social problems, labor markets and resource allocation. Wunderlich's papers include personal correspondence, mostly in German, that predates her emigration to the United States from Germany. The letters may have been written when she was a student, and also possibly date from her time as professor at the Vocational Pedagogic Institute in Berlin. Wunderlich's role as Requirements Committee chairperson and advisor to foreign students, and as professor of Economics and Sociology in the Graduate Faculty, are found here in her New School administrative files. Other correspondence consists of thank-you letters, many from foreign students.

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Organization and Arrangement

Organized in three series

  1. Personal correspondence, circa 1912-1936
  2. New School administrative files, 1944-1960s
  3. Notebooks, circa 1940s-circa 1960

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Administrative Information

Jennifer Ulrich

Publication Information

New School Collections - 2016-05-03

66 Fifth Avenue
lobby
New York, NY, 10011
212.229.5942
archivist@newschool.edu

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Frieda Wunderlich notebooks and miscellaneous files, NA.0002.01, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Raymond Fogleman Library to the New School Archives and Special Collections in 2012.

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Related Materials

The State University of New York, Albany and the Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History both hold collections of Frieda Wunderlich's papers. A photograph of Wunderlich will be found in the New School Archives' Clara Mayer papers. In addition, Wunderlich appears in two home movies made by University in Exile benefactor, Hiram Halle.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y. : 1919-1997). Graduate Faculty.

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence.
  • Lecture notes.
  • Notebooks.

Subject(s)

  • Labor economics -- Research.
  • Labor unions -- Study and teaching.
  • Labor unions -- Organizing.
  • Sociology -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Personal correspondence, circa 1912-1936 

1 1

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New School administrative files 1944-1960s 

Box Folder
Administrative, 1949, undated 
1 2
Administrative, circa 1949-1952 
1 3
Admission: Columbia and other universities, 1948 
n_3 15
Attempt to reformulate rules, circa 1950 
1 4
Bibliographies, circa 1950s 
1 5
Committee on Requirements 
General, circa 1947-1956 
1 6
Admissions, 1947-1957 
1 7-8
Degrees, circa 1947-1951 
1 9
Evaluations of other countries, 1949-1953 
1 10
Dr. Wunderlich and Mr. Eichner, 1957 
1 11
Language, 1948-1949 
n_3 16

Correspondence 

Box Folder
1946-1960 
1 12
Thank-you letters, 1950s 
1 13
Thanks letters, 1957 
1 14
Faculty advisor forms, circa 1951 
1 15
Foreign students, 1952-1959 
1 16
Foreign students advisors office, 1950s 
n_3 17
Foreign students procedures, 1944-1959 
1 17-19
Graduate Faculty "Annual Report of the Dean" , 1956 
1 20
New School B.A. program, circa 1945-1951 
1 21
The New School business, 1960s 
n_3 18

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Notebooks circa 1940s-circa 1960 

Titles transcribed.

Box Folder
"Agriculture Str."  
1 22-24
"Am. Univ. II?"  
1 25-27
"Coll. barg/labor law/N.L.R.B."  
1 28-29
"Corpor etc."  
1 30-32
"Fatigue/psych.ice/repres/employ/warfare/counseling/communicat./griev."  
1 33-34
"Government & business"  
1 35-36
"Ind rel. IV: Warfare/repres./coop/counseling "  
2 1-2
"Labor in politics"  
2 3
"Mining/buttons/airplane/steel/machinery/aluminum fab./electrical/petrol workers/garment workers/fur/laundry/headwear/gloves"  
2 4-6
"Money & bank. / Str IV"  
2 7-8
"Textile/shoe/machine/rubber/building/stone/pottery/glam/shipbuilding"  
3 1-2
"Untitled"  
3 3
"Welf. state war"  
3 4

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 02/28/2017

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